Preparation for labor begins long before the baby is even born. When you are pregnant, it is important to know your due date in order to plan for the delivery.
When preparing your hospital bag for labor and delivery, begin planning what to bring and have a checklist ready a month or two before your due date. Then, pack your bags about three weeks before your planned delivery.
This gives you enough time to gather the items you’ll need during labor and delivery. You’ll also want to take into account what the hospital will require of you, such as a maternity pads and baby nappies.
Let’s take a deep dive:
When to pack your hospital bag
The general rule of thumb is to have a bag packed and ready at 36 weeks or 37 weeks pregnant. However, in reality, your baby may come earlier than your expected due date. If your pregnancy is high-risk, it’s better to pack your bags early just in case you need it sooner rather than later.
Make sure you have a checklist that ticks off all the essential items for labor and delivery. You should also pack a few things that helps you feel comfortable. This could be anything from your favorite pajamas to an old teddy.
Pregnancy journals like this one even has pages for checklists:
When to prepare your hospital bag checklist
When you are preparing for your hospital stay, it’s important to have a clear plan of what you will need. This includes nursing bras for new moms, what you’ll wear during labor, post-partum clothing and so many other things.
The list is long. That’s why it’s important to have a checklist of what to bring with you to hospital. This checklist can help to avoid any last minute rush and ensure that you have everything you need when you arrive at the hospital. Following a checklist can also ensure that you are not missing any important items that could make your hospital stay harder.
If you’re preparing a checklist for yourself, start thinking about what you’ll need in hospital at least 1-2 months before your expected delivery date. This will give you time to gather all your supplies and buy anything that needs buying. List them all down and even put the items aside if you don’t need to use them prior to your hospital stay.
Why you should pack your hospital bag earlier
If you are like me, you’ll wait until the last minute to pack for your hospital stay. But why wait? By packing your hospital bag a few weeks earlier, you can save time and hassle in the event of an emergency. Here are a few reasons why you should start packing your hospital bag earlier:
- You’ll be able to spend the last days of your pregnancy mentally preparing for your admission.
- You’ll have more time to gather all the necessary items and won’t have to rush around in the last few days (or hours!!) before giving birth.
- You save time packing if you have everything prepared ahead of time.
- Having everything prepped and organized can make the hospital experience more manageable. This is especially important if you’re planning on having a natural childbirth without using pain medications.
Why you should not pack your hospital bag too early
Packing your hospital bag months and months before you’re due is not recommend. You won’t really know what you’ll need or want during your stay at the hospital. You might even need new bra and panty sizes then!
You also have many other things to focus on. In the first trimester, you may experience common symptoms like fatigue and morning sickness, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to deal with them.
The second trimester is generally when you get your home ready for your baby, painting the nursery, buying new baby furniture and all that jazz.
Plus, if you pack your bag too early, you may forget important items or rush through packing and end up with a bag that is not properly organized.
What to pack in your hospital bag
Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag can make a huge difference in your comfort and happiness while you’re in the hospital. Preparing for your hospital stay can be daunting, but by following a checklist, you can make the process easier.
Make a list of all the things you’ll need and pack them in your hospital bag. Checklists are available online or you can make one yourself. When you’re ready, take a deep breath and start packing!
Here are some ‘mommy essentials’ you’ll want to pack in your hospital bag:
- A copy of your birth plan
- Medication list
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license
- Emergency contacts
- Headphones or earbuds to listen to relaxing music.
- At least 10 pairs of maternity underwear
- At least 3 soft nursing bras
- 2 packs of maternity pads
- Peri bottle
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Clothes for labor
- Postpartum clothes that fit
- Comfy nursing pajamas
- Non-slip socks
- Hair ties or hair bands to keep your hair out of the way
- Slippers if you don’t like cold floors
- One or two favorite items from home
To wrap up
Packing your hospital bag a few weeks before delivery is a great way to ensure that you have everything you need when you go into labor. By taking the time to pack your bag, you can avoid the stress of having to pack at the last minute. Make sure to also pack favorite items that will help you feel more comfortable and don’t forget to pack your baby’s essentials, such as diapers, wipes, and a few onesies.
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